Over several decades as a writer, I have had the privilege and joy of discovering many different healthy foods and drinks.
Of those, kombucha is easily one of my favorites.
Kombucha is typically packed with healthy ingredients like tea, fruits, and herbs. It’s a delicious health tonic that is often sold in a raw, unpasteurized state.
Millions of people know about kombucha due to its recent popularity.
What many don’t realize is that there is a similar drink brewed with different ingredients than typical kombucha — one that offers a remarkably unique and delicious taste.
Jun: The ‘Champagne of Kombuchas’
Pronounced ‘joon,’ just like the month, Jun differentiates itself from kombucha in two main ways:
- It is typically made with green tea instead of black tea
- It is typically made with raw honey instead of refined sugar
Attempting to make kombucha with raw honey generally leads to muted flavors.
Making Jun with raw honey can lead to one of the best drinks you’ve ever had in your life, however.
There’s a reason why Jun is called ‘The Champagne of Kombuchas.’
How to Make Jun Kombucha
Jun kombucha is made by starting with a SCOBY, or symbiotic culture of yeast.
A SCOBY is similar to a large mushroom. It is typically placed in water and given time to ferment along with the honey and tea.
Jun and kombucha brewers typically place the SCOBY in a large jar along with the ingredients and cover the top with a cheese cloth, as shown below.
For health and flavor purposes, it is recommended to use organic raw honey and organic green tea, as non-organic varieties may contain pesticides and other unhealthy additives.
The following is a simple Jun kombucha recipe you can try at home.
Its taste can best be described as a milder, less bitter kombucha.
It has a light, effervescent and herbal flavor, sort of like a non-alcoholic champagne or a sparkling alcohol-free wine but with more depth and taste.
-8 cups water
-2 teaspoons organic looseleaf green tea
-1/2 cup raw honey or manuka honey
-1 Jun SCOBY
-1/2 cup of Jun from a previous batch or other healthy liquid such as herbal tea
-1/2 gallon jar
Instructions for Preparing the Tea and Honey
Heat the water to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (slightly less than the boiling point of 212 degrees F). When the water is ready, sprinkle the green tea (this is my favorite looseleaf brand) into a large jar or pitcher.
Pour hot water over the tea and let it steep for at least three and up to five minutes.
Next, strain the tea through mesh into your jar and let it cool to room temperature.
Brewing the Jun
When the tea is at room temperature, add your SCOBY and 1/2 cup Jun from a previous batch or other liquid.
Cover the jar with cheese cloth and let it ferment for 3 to 5 days until it smells a bit sour and somewhat sweet. Make sure to leave at least an inch to allow your baby SCOBY to grow.
Later, remove the SCOBY and place it on a plate.
Stir the remaining tea, and save 1/2 cup for your next batch. It will store at room temperature for up to one week.
Finally, pour them into the flip bottles and store in the fridge for up to three months.
The full recipe can be read on the website NourishedKitchen.com here.
Final Thoughts on Jun Kombucha
Of all the drinks I have tried over the past two decades, Jun might be my favorite.
I buy it at the health food store every now and then, although I typically buy kombucha more often because it’s less expensive and there are more flavors.
By experimenting with different flavors of looseleaf tea at home and different types of honey and other ingredients, you can come up with your own healthy and delicious brews.
Thanks as always for reading and happy brewing out there!
P.S. These are my favorite flavors of looseleaf organic tea to use in this recipe, from a company called Firebelly.
Firebelly is similar to the popular mall-based tea company Teavana, except everything is organic.
Check them out here if you have a chance…Makes a great gift for any tea lover in your life!